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Suman Saha receives the William C. Carter Award

Suman Saha Suman Saha - - © Inria / S. Saha

Suman Saha, who completed his PhD with the Regal project-team (a joint Inria-Lip6 team), has just received the William C. Carter Award, which recognises important dissertation research in the field of dependable computing. This 2013 award was particularly notable, given the large number of qualified nominees this year.

Could you briefly explain what dependable computing is about?

Suman Saha : Dependable computing is all about system reliability. Research in this area focuses on making computer systems reliable and dependable.

This award is granted based on PhD research. What did your research, which won you this award, focus on?

Suman : I completed my dissertation under the supervision of Gilles Muller and Julia Lawal in the REGAL project-team (a joint CNRS-Inria-UPMC team) at the Lip6 laboratory. For my dissertation, I worked on developing two systems for testing the quality of error-handling code in systems software. An error-handling code is a code that restores a system to a coherent state when an error is detected. In some cases, a code may fail to execute operations that would free up necessary resources. This can lead to a loss of information, a blockage, or even a system crash. My work consists of determining whether resource-releasing operations have not been executed, and if so, which ones. To that end, my approach makes use of function-local information.

What does this award mean for you?

Suman : This award means a lot to me. It's an important recognition that gives me confidence in my accomplishments. Already this award is pushing me to redouble my efforts, so that I can contribute even more to this field.

What are you doing now, and what is your current research focusing on?

Suman : I recently began attending a post-doctoral programme at Harvard. I'll be working on designing an instruction set model with a distinctive architecture (called "x86") that will ensure the security policy of a "sandbox". A "sandbox" is a mechanism used to execute programmes while minimising risks to the operating system.

Keywords: PhD Prize Systems security